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 William Joseph McCloskey  (1859 - 1941)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: trompe still life-citrus, portrait

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William Joseph McCloskey
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Joseph McCloskey was born in Philadelphia, PA on Oct. 5, 1859. McCloskey studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Christian Schussele and Thomas Eakins during 1877-82.

In the fall of 1882 he began teaching life drawing and painting at the Denver Academy of Art. At that school he met his future wife, Alberta Binford. The couple established a portrait studio in Los Angeles in the Child's Grand Opera House in 1884. He painted in England and Paris in the 1890s and later in Salt Lake City, New York, and San Francisco. In the early 1920s he was the official portrait painter of the American Legion in Los Angeles, but retired to the home of his daughter in Oregon about 1924. After returning to California, he died in Costa Mesa on Dec. 30, 1941.

Known works number fewer than 100. He is best known for his still lifes of citrus fruit wrapped in tissue paper in the trompe l'oeil manner.

Exh: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1879; Paris Salon; Royal Academy of British Artists; Chamber of Commerce (LA), 1894; Mark Hopkins Art Inst., 1897-98; Bohemian Club, 1898; Athletic Club (LA), 1924; Bowers Museum (Santa Ana), 1969, 1994 (jointly with wife).

Works held in public places: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; California Historical Society; Society of Calif. Pioneers; Hudson River Museum (Yonkers, NY); Syracuse Univ.; Orange Co. (CA) Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1903; Painting and Sculpture in Los Angeles, 1900-45; City Directory; California Historical Society; Splitter; Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Painters of the Humble Truth; Death record; American Art Review, Oct. 1994.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Philadelphia, he earned a widespread reputation for his skill with portraits and still life, and from 1888 to 1912, did a series of still lifes with wrapped oranges, stemming from the fact that this time period was the beginning of much interstate shipping of fruit in paper wrappers.

He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Design from 1887 to 1882 and studied there with Christian Schusselle, who stressed the importance of studying still life subjects. He also was a student of Thomas Eakins in live model classes.

Married to artist Alberta Binford McCloskey, he moved continuously, living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Denver, Oregon and Europe.

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:
William McCloskey was born in Philadelphia in 1859, and studied art there at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. McCloskey married the artist Alberta Binford, with whom he established a portrait studio in Los Angeles in 1884. The McCloskeys moved frequently, living and working in England, France, New York, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco.

McCloskey is best remembered for his finely detailed still-lifes of paper-wrapped citrus fruit. William McCloskey died in Orange, California, in 1941.

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William McCloskey is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Paris Pre 1900
California Painters
Trompe l'Oeil Painting

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